On Mother’s Day 2015 I received some news that I desperately wanted to hear, and completely didn’t want to accept, at the same time. I found out that I am expecting our fifth baby. Let me explain my contradictory feelings … I love babies. I rarely pass by a baby that I don’t smile at the wonder of their sweetness and creation. I love to hold babies … to snuggle them and smell their “babyness”. I have been thoroughly excited each time that the test showed me a positive result. And have loved those baby moments that followed.
But this result has loaded implications. I am no longer the oblivious, “live in my happy pregnancy bubble” Wendy. Today, I am acutely aware of what can go wrong. I’ve lived it. I’ve felt a sweet baby grow under my heart and move constantly. And I have labored to birth that precious girl and snuggle her close, with tears rushing down my face, silently begging her to open her eyes. To move anything. To breathe. That is a heartache I never wish to encounter again.
I guess that you could say my excitement has experienced a jading that only death can bring. So, I hope. I hope that my baby will survive and thrive. I hope that I will experience the pain of childbirth, knowing that I am going to get to mother a beautiful baby at the end of it. I hope that I will get to walk behind my husband, as we leave the hospital, and photograph him carrying our tiny baby in it’s carrier … just like I have for three cute boys. I hope that I will have to endure sleepless nights with a baby who just doesn’t get what bedtime means. I hope that I will get to experience the fun of showing off my little one to curious strangers. I hope that I will have to walk the floors with a cranky, teething baby. I hope that I will get to make a fun 1st birthday cake and let our baby smash into it with the abandon that it’s big brothers have. I hope. And I wait.
Again, this pregnancy has brought the fragility of life straight to the forefront of my life and my interactions with my children. When one of my sons cannot find his glasses and frustration abounds, I back down and remind myself that he is here. Right now. That I get to have the privilege of buying him new ones if that is what it takes (We did eventually find them tucked in with all of his stuffies on his bed!). When my boys ask me to color with them, the world stops and we color together. And I delight in their childish voices proclaiming that this is the best time ever!! When I arrive home and three little boys come running to meet me with many proclamations of love and excitement to see me, I realize anew how truly lucky I am.
Hope does abound. Hope helps me to continue seeing the beauty in my dawn. Life doesn’t always make sense, and I want so desperately to protect my heart … yet, deep, pulsing love for this new little one overtakes everything. And I am at peace. I am hopeful. And this little one is desperately wanted.